Swaying my tiny hips into the bathroom, I danced to the jam that was being played on my mp3 player. The bass effects the player gave to the music was giving me cold chills. As I took my bath, I sang along and danced to the music being played.
Suddenly, the music stopped playing and a call came in. I rushed out from the bathroom to see who was calling. “Bobo yii ni sha,” I hissed, and hesitated before picking the call.
“Hello, how far?”
“Abeg. You suppose don know say I dey wait for you outside. Na why I call you na. Abeg do quick, make we dey go sharpaly.”
“I’m still taking my bath, calm ara e down.”
“Can you imagine? Na my fault. I suppose just dey go. A whole head prefect still home at 7:20am.”
“No problem. Na mummy go carry me today.”
“Ehn Ehn. You for don talk that one before now. Oya.”
I was all hyper that morning, even my mother had to ask me why I was that way. She thought it was still the thrills from the new phone I got. Little, did she know about me. I could be hyper all to myself, and also with others few times, but it didn’t happen all day.
“Mum, a friend will be going with us.”
“He lives in the estate?”
“Okay, hope he’s ready. I don’t want any delay.” She said as she picked up her car key and headed for the door.
“Yes, he’s at the gate already ma.” I replied as I followed her.
My mother was very sensitive, she could sniff bad friends from afar. It was different with Okon, she was okay with him. She even enjoyed talking with him all through out our journey to school, Okon was the confident type. He could easily maintain discussions with full fledged adults. All thanks to that and his innocent looks, for making my mother think he was a good friend.
“Mehn, your mum is cool. I thought you said she nags.” Okon said immediately my mother sped off.
“Well, she changed recently. She really changed in the way she relates with me. I don’t even know. And she’s been too caring. It creeps me out.”
“You’re joking, right? A mother who cares about you and your well being? And you dey feel somehow? That’s what many children would love.” Okon opened the school pedestrian gate.
“You no fit understand. She’s directing her care the wrong way and it’s really annoying.” I tried not to sound too serious and decided to increase my walking pace.
“Chill, man. Wetin you mean?”
“I think you know what I mean.” I looked him in the eye. There was quite some tension in the air. I could see guilt in Okon’s eyes.
“Okon, you’re taking this matter too far. I have to get into my responsibilities now.” I decided to tone down the tension of the atmosphere.
“Okay, catch you later in the afternoon. Four-thirty, right? Same spot.” He hollered as I was already quite much away from him.
“Yeah, same spot.” I hollered back.
The day felt so different, even with all I was going through. I was already getting used to Okon and his daily toilet episodes. I thought it through that there was no way I could be free from Okon. We lived in the same estate, our houses adjacent each other. I just had to get on with the party, and dance to whatever tune that was being played.
The thoughts of my Dad and aunt Gloria hit me. I tried to recollect how bright my mother’s face was that morning. What if she discovered that her own very revered husband both at home and in church is having affairs with her sister? She’d be so broken, keeping it all away from her was the best option that kept ringing in my head.
There was I, it didn’t even look like anything was wrong. It didn’t look like I was already developing hatred for my own father. I didn’t even bother to greet him that morning. He tabled me disappointment when I was looking for someone to lean on.
It was noon already. I couldn’t find Mr. James in class and it was very unusual of him not to be in school. It didn’t matter even if he had no class to teach, he’d still be in class.
“Craig, have you seen Mr. James today?”
“No, I have not seen him at all.”
Not long after I asked Craig about Mr. James, the principal entered the class. Mr. Frank, the school principal introduced to us a new class teacher – Mr. George. Everyone was so surprised, it was weird getting a new teacher when the session was almost over. WASSCE was around the corner. It was just few weeks to school mock examination.
“Head prefect! I need to see you in my office.”
“What could be it again?”
I followed Mr. Frank to his office where he discussed with me some students’ issues and how he wanted my help on them.
“Okay, I’ll report to you by next week sir. I hope you have not forgotten about the series of events the final year students are intending to hold. We need your consent, sir.”
“Prom Night and a set party? Why hold two of them. See, convince your folks to stick to holding one. Once they agree to go with one, then we can talk.”
“Sir, we just….”
“Michael! No rebuttals. Unless the school won’t sponsor these parties. If we are going to sponsor, then it’s going to be one. We still have the valedictory service. Is that okay? You got that?”
“Roger that, sir!” I gave in.
“One more thing, Michael. The prom or whatever you call it is going to be done under supervision of people the school authorities will assign.” He said and grinned, knowing well it won’t sit well with us. He just wanted to frustrate our plans for the prom night.
“This is meant to be a person…”
“I’m not bargaining, Michael. I’m informing you.”
I wasn’t a party fanatic but I had to represent the common decision my mates reached on how to celebrate their exit from High School. The prom night was what they decided, with a bid to make it a culture in the school. I couldn’t blame the principal. Parties meant immorality, which is mostly. If it wasn’t wholly immorality, then it would most likely contain iota of it. That was the popular view about parties, especially among teenagers.
On my way back to class, I kept thinking about Mr. James. I decided to reach him through phone call after getting his contact number from one of my mates. He wasn’t reachable still. The only hope I had to speak to someone had been extinguished.
When I had spoken to Mr. James, hope lit up in me but then I felt so damned. I felt some sort of heaviness on my chest, like a big stone dangling off a tree branch. It was strong.
The following days, lustful desires began to find expression in me. Okon never had to find ways to get me into the act, I became willing and even more addicted. If Okon was not available, I was all I needed to masturbate. My smartphone was the propelling agent as it made me have access to different pornography sites. I wasted a lot of money on the purchase of data.
Within two weeks, Okon became my best friend. If I wasn’t found with Margaret, I’d be found with Okon. We spent most of lunch breaks together with Margaret. My mother already knew him as my friend, she liked him. He was free to come into our house.